Two cents blog


by BCM Group on 31 March 2014


Self-less or self-absorbed? The #nomakeupselfie debate.

I am sure most of you have seen the #nomakeupselfie doing the rounds late last week.  The trend appeared in Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds in what looked like an awareness campaign for breast cancer.  The concept involves a make-up free woman taking a selfie, posting it to the social media platform of her choice with the hashtag #nomakeupselfie and then nominating other women to do that same.

An interesting element in this growing trend is that it was not launched by Cancer Research or any other charity relating to breast cancer.  However, as the trend grew, Cancer Research UK jumped on the bandwagon and used the movement to their advantage to raise much needed funds.  Now Australia has been hit with this trend as well. As the hashtag gained momentum high profile celebrities started to post their selfies and it wasn’t long before men also joined in by posting selfies of themselves with a hilarious twist, a full face of make-up instead, to show their support.


Although the movement is in support of raising breast cancer awareness, some people have criticised the trend by labelling it as giving women the arrogance and excuse to brag and show their social media friends how great they look without make-up.  Further negative feedback focuses on the facts that although these women may be taking a picture in support, how many of them are actually donating?

Despite the negative feedback, the numbers speak for themselves.  According to Cancer Research UK, 800,000 text donations were received since Wednesday equaling more than £1 million.  So whether you love or hate the trend, you cannot deny the fact that donations and awareness have increased.

Whether or not all of the women who participated donated, and regardless of whether they joined the trend selflessly or to show off their natural beauty, the easy nature of the mechanics of posting a selfie and then nominating your friends to do the same has certainly used the best social media assets to their advantage.

I can’t help but see a bit of genius in the idea, intentional or not.  The importance of regular donations to an important cause can sometimes fall to the way-side.  Using user generated content, and in this case a selfie, is an interesting way to remind people to donate.  As the saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.  With the #nomakeupselfie filling up social media feeds everywhere as a great example of social sharing, what other campaigns are using social media to their advantage at the moment?

Rebecca Fitzgerald is an Account Manager at BCM

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